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Posted: 4/25/2002 5:55:38 PM EDT
The Weekly Standard 04/25/2002 Our Saudi Friends Crown Prince Abdullah is coming to America with threats and bluster. Is Saudi Arabia with us or the terrorists? by William Kristol http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/001/171awawv.asp ON THE EVE of his meeting with President Bush today, Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia warned of "a strategic debacle" that could result in the Saudis employing "the oil weapon" against the United States and demanding that U.S. forces leave their bases in the Kingdom. Although the ostensible cause for these threats is the Bush administration's support for Israel's actions against Palestinian terrorists, the Saudi ruling family clearly has been unnerved by the president's commitment to win the larger war on terrorism in the region. The crown prince has serious questions to answer about where he and the rest of the House of Saud stand in this war. The repressive Wahhabi strain of Islam is the Saudi state religion and has been the prime source for spreading Muslim irredentist thought throughout the region; it is no surprise that 15 of the 19 September 11 terrorists were Saudi citizens. In his State of the Union address, President Bush said that an integral part of the war on terrorism is to bring democratic principles to the Islamic world. This cannot but be a threat to the Saudi regime. That is why a source close to Crown Prince Abdullah has made it clear to the New York Times that the Saudi princes wouldn't hesitate to stand against the United States in a crisis: "And if that means we move to the right of [Osama] bin Laden, so be it; to the left of [Libyan leader Moammar] Qaddafi, so be it; or fly to Baghdad and embrace Saddam like a brother, so be it." The Crown Prince makes it clear: to preserve itself, the Saudi regime is prepared to join the Axis of Evil. In protecting its interests in the Persian Gulf, the United States has always hoped for a regional partner: first Iran, then Iraq, then the Saudis; in their turn, each of these has proven itself incapable of the job. Fortunately, the Saudis probably overestimate the threat they pose to the president's policy. Denying the U.S. access to Saudi bases will make the war against Iraq harder, but will not stop it. Further, removing Saddam Hussein's regime from power in Baghdad will reduce the Saudis' leverage even more--returning Iraqi oil fully to market can only reduce the Saudis' ability to set oil prices, and will make the U.S. bases there superfluous. That the crown prince should come to Crawford brandishing these threats--attempting to veto an attack on Saddam and hamstring American and world economic recovery--suggests that the current Saudi regime is part of the problem, not part of the solution. William Kristol is editor of The Weekly Standard.
Link Posted: 4/25/2002 6:00:34 PM EDT
Dead-nuts on target.
Link Posted: 4/25/2002 6:44:12 PM EDT
I have said many times that Saudi would make a great 51st state. I won't mind however if it becomes the 52nd after Iraq!
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